T Nation

Wavelength-Adonis Principles-Timberwolf Dieting Approach

Anyone every experiment with the diets these posters and coaches from other forums espouse?

Here are their takes on cutting and bulking, and it’s as simple as it gets. Kind of reminds me of Mike Mentzer’s approach, even with his contest dieting.

  1. So long as protein intake and caloric amount are in check, macro percentages are irrelevant.
  2. To cut, eat less.
  3. To bulk, eat more.
  4. To “recomp” eat at maintenance.
  5. PWO shakes are bunk. You can go home and eat solid food after with the same effect.
  6. Weight train. Adjust cardio for goals.

This isn’t even a IIFYM approach. It’s simple protein and caloric amount for goals.

Anyone ever experiment.

Being I have no aim of competing in anything (except for some fun mud runs if you count this as competing although I look at it as fitness oriented recreation), I think I might do an experiment with myself after YEARS of eating “clean” MOST of the time. I’m starting to really think how I will be in shape the rest of my life and desire more flexibility now that my days are a little more spontaneous.

I’m not sure if the mods will put this in the nutrition, but I really prefer to hang out in the BSL forum these days, as I see it more of a fitness lifestyle forum.

My approach in the last month has basically gone to that. The one thing I’m not sure about yet is getting calories from carbs vs fat.

[quote]browndisaster wrote:
My approach in the last month has basically gone to that. The one thing I’m not sure about yet is getting calories from carbs vs fat.[/quote]

They basically espouse this for minimums:

  1. 6 grams EFA’s per day
  2. 100 grams of carbs per day
  3. 1 gram pro/lb

Rest of calories from fat and carbs to make up total caloric amount is up to you, what you want to do. So if you want a 1,000 calorie chicken Caesar salad with 0 starchy carbs or a 1,000 calorie BK meal for lunch, it doesn’t matter.

Here’s the reason why I’m doing this, and perhaps some in this forum can relate because most here aren’t competitive, although Timberwolf is a physique model who can easily destroy competition in a show he would enter.

I have simply come to the point in life where I don’t think being a lunatic with counting every damn macronutrient will suffice for me, EVEN IF it means less-than-ideal results, but good results nonetheless. When I was single and more of a fitness-nut hermit whose near sole recreation was the gym, reading about the gym, eating, posting on forums about the gym, and thought that, whether I would compete or not, my body was the most damn important thing to me, I could count everything and there was little desire to be spontaneous… with ANYTHING (not just food and training). Now that I am no longer single and have a more robust social and family life and a job that’s a bit more demanding and want to do a variety of fitness activities (boxing class once a week, doing some mud runs, ball games at the beach and park, occasional cycling with a friend of mine), I’m more “out and about” these days, and I just can’t see such a stiff approach working long term. I also have a spontaneous woman who’s family is ALWAYS preparing good stuff to eat (Italians!).

And who knows, maybe everything I thought was SUPPOSED to be done with nutrition (counting, ASSIGNING cheat meals), isn’t all that necessary, especially for a “hater” and “regular guy” like me (screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke). And what about those nights where you’re just too friggin’ exhausted (or just plain lazy) to make a lunch for the next day and you can just go to BK, order a meal in line with the calories you want, and that’s it? Who knows? I’m willing to experiment at this point.

LOL well there you go, I agree with it 100% now. I didn’t think about a carb minimum. I had the same energy and same progress when I went higher fat or higher carb.

In my opinion, this approach works well from a physiological point of view, but really shines when you look at compliance.

[quote]BrickHead wrote:
Anyone every experiment with the diets these posters and coaches from other forums espouse?

Here are their takes on cutting and bulking, and it’s as simple as it gets. Kind of reminds me of Mike Mentzer’s approach, even with his contest dieting.

  1. So long as protein intake and caloric amount are in check, macro percentages are irrelevant.
  2. To cut, eat less.
  3. To bulk, eat more.
  4. To “recomp” eat at maintenance.
  5. PWO shakes are bunk. You can go home and eat solid food after with the same effect.
  6. Weight train. Adjust cardio for goals.

This isn’t even a IIFYM approach. It’s simple protein and caloric amount for goals.

Anyone ever experiment.

Being I have no aim of competing in anything (except for some fun mud runs if you count this as competing although I look at it as fitness oriented recreation), I think I might do an experiment with myself after YEARS of eating “clean” MOST of the time. I’m starting to really think how I will be in shape the rest of my life and desire more flexibility now that my days are a little more spontaneous.

I’m not sure if the mods will put this in the nutrition, but I really prefer to hang out in the BSL forum these days, as I see it more of a fitness lifestyle forum. [/quote]

Honestly this is pretty much how I eat. I try to get in around 1.5 gr protein per lb and then the rest of carbs fat I just use depending on my goals. Protein always stays relatively the same, but if I’m trying to get muscle, I’ll eat whenever I’m hungry and cut down on cardio (I still do it because I, somehow, enjoy it), and if I’m trying to cut I’ll just wait a little longer before I eat, and I’ll also cook with less “fillers” like butter, oils, etc… This lets me eat pretty much what I want even when I’m cutting and results haven’t been different from super clean eating. Yesterday I woke up, did an hour of cardio, messed around in the house for a bit, then had an 85 gr protein 10 gr fat shake, went online for a bit, then prepped my plazma for the workout. I was hungry afterwards so I just went to five guys and had a double cheeseburger with bacon mushrooms and bbq sauce. Went home showered etc… drank a carton of egg whites then ate some pasta and then had some ramen noodles, the shitty ones, before I went to bed with another 85 gr protein shake. If I were to do a show I’d be more regimented but otherwise I don’t think there’s a need for it.

I want to add that I also take the same approach to training and just do whatever I feel like doing in the gym that day. I still focus more on certain body parts than others according to my weaknesses but I don’t stress regarding exact rep ranges or exercises and sets I just hit the muscle group. Consistency in getting protein in and getting to the gym every week without extended layoffs and adjusting the rest of your calories according to your goals is what will produce most results in the end.

[quote]myself1992 wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:
Anyone every experiment with the diets these posters and coaches from other forums espouse?

Here are their takes on cutting and bulking, and it’s as simple as it gets. Kind of reminds me of Mike Mentzer’s approach, even with his contest dieting.

  1. So long as protein intake and caloric amount are in check, macro percentages are irrelevant.
  2. To cut, eat less.
  3. To bulk, eat more.
  4. To “recomp” eat at maintenance.
  5. PWO shakes are bunk. You can go home and eat solid food after with the same effect.
  6. Weight train. Adjust cardio for goals.

This isn’t even a IIFYM approach. It’s simple protein and caloric amount for goals.

Anyone ever experiment.

Being I have no aim of competing in anything (except for some fun mud runs if you count this as competing although I look at it as fitness oriented recreation), I think I might do an experiment with myself after YEARS of eating “clean” MOST of the time. I’m starting to really think how I will be in shape the rest of my life and desire more flexibility now that my days are a little more spontaneous.

I’m not sure if the mods will put this in the nutrition, but I really prefer to hang out in the BSL forum these days, as I see it more of a fitness lifestyle forum. [/quote]

Honestly this is pretty much how I eat. I try to get in around 1.5 gr protein per lb and then the rest of carbs fat I just use depending on my goals. Protein always stays relatively the same, but if I’m trying to get muscle, I’ll eat whenever I’m hungry and cut down on cardio (I still do it because I, somehow, enjoy it), and if I’m trying to cut I’ll just wait a little longer before I eat, and I’ll also cook with less “fillers” like butter, oils, etc… This lets me eat pretty much what I want even when I’m cutting and results haven’t been different from super clean eating. Yesterday I woke up, did an hour of cardio, messed around in the house for a bit, then had an 85 gr protein 10 gr fat shake, went online for a bit, then prepped my plazma for the workout. I was hungry afterwards so I just went to five guys and had a double cheeseburger with bacon mushrooms and bbq sauce. Went home showered etc… drank a carton of egg whites then ate some pasta and then had some ramen noodles, the shitty ones, before I went to bed with another 85 gr protein shake. If I were to do a show I’d be more regimented but otherwise I don’t think there’s a need for it.
[/quote]

Thanks for the posts!

There are some guys who are contest ready using this approach too. Like I said Mentzer was a big advocate of simple calories in versus out and would routinely eat cake and ice cream during prep. Dorian said he did that sometimes too, like eat some chocolate and subtract calories elsewhere and still lose weight.

I just want to friggin’ live life now and stay in shape in the process. We’ll see how this goes. I think this strategy will work for my girlfriend because she can’t stand bland foods when I can go a long time with bland foods. Adherence is key for most people and I think when I write diets for others in the future (future plan of mine outside of day job) this will be a strategy suitable for most as the average person likely can’t or chooses not to count grams of everything.

Phil Hernon espouses eating whenever hungry even for mass gains but he does have a set p/f/c ratio for each meal so there’s a lot of advanced people eating more flexible diets and getting outstanding results. I honestly only think its necessary to be anal on your diet the last 4-8 weeks before a show, but I’ve never done one so take that for what its worth

From Timberwolf’s Myspace page post years ago:
Kelly Bagget summed it up well here…:
Unless you just have really good genetics or take steroids the only real way to accomplish what you want is to take a 2 steps forward one step back approach. Building a significant amount of muscle without adding some fat is about impossible for most people.
Contrary to popular belief, providing your basic protein requirements are met and you’re training, the “composition”, “timing”, and “frequency” of your diet are not as important as many think and are not as important as your total caloric intake. Let’s run through a few myths right quick.

  • Eating once a day is worse then eating 6 times a day but there’s little if any difference between eating 3 times a day and 6 times a day.
    -Whole food meals restore muscle glycogen just as well as postworkout carb drinks. If you have days between intense workouts for a certain bodypart it’s not like your body needs to be in a hurry up mode to restore a couple of hundred calories worth of glycogen (energy) you burn up in a workout.
  • The only major benefit of food combining is appetite control. How you combine your meals is of little relevance at the end of the day.
  • Protein is protein. The majority of differences in quality (and price) can be made up for by quantity. Give me the guy getting his protein from steak and eggs everyday compared to the guy spending $1500 per month on fancy micro-ozone-filtered powders and I’ll take the first guy every time.
  • Carbs and fats are both sources of energy. Excess energy above and beyond your daily energy needs from either source leads to fat gain. Lack of energy from either source below your daily energy needs leads to fat loss. Whether you eat more calories from fat or more calories from carbohydrate, or less energy from fat or less energy from carbohydrate, energy is energy.
  • The most important factor as to whether you gain or lose weight is your daily caloric intake.
  • The amount of fat you gain on a bulking diet is primarily determined by your total caloric intake and your genetics.
  • The amount of muscle you lose on a fat loss diet is primarily determined by the extent of your caloric deficit and your genetics.
  • The body does not suddenly go “catabolic” when no protein is consumed over a few hour time span.

How Important is the Complicated Stuff?
For the most part, whatever complicated nutrition scheme you’re on is not all that relevant as to what your body does with excess calories in regard to muscle gain as long as you’re eating enough protein. Activity itself along with the total calories that you eat and the endocrine signals your body sends (genetics) are much more important. In order of importance the major factors would be:

  1. Endocrine signaling (genetics, hormones, etc.)
  2. Dietary totals
  3. activity
  4. Dietary composition
  5. Meal timing.
    A Scenario
    If we take 2 twins and they both train the same and eat 150 grams of protein and 3000 calories per day but one eats 6 meals per day and 500 grams of carbs consisting of potatoes and brown rice etc., while the other eats 3 meals per day and 500 grams of carbs consisting of cereal and bread, most would be very surprised of how little difference there would be as far as the amount of muscle and fat they gained.
    The main difference between a diet consisting of whole foods and a diet consisting of processed crap is, it’s a lot easier to consume more calories on the processed diet and, since excess calories are what make people fat, it’s a lot easier to consume more calories and get fat on a junk food diet. Additionally, many people eating the processed diet are not getting the right amount of protien.

Minimums
What are the minimums? Well, there is no minimum level of carbohydrate, - Carbs are just energy. If you wanted to get nitpicky you could say that 100 grams of carbohydrate would be required per day to maintain enough blood glucose to think straight, but that’s not necessarily essential.
For protein the minimum generally runs anywhere from 1 gram per lb of bodyweight to 1.5 grams per lb of bodyweight, depending on the total caloric intake and activity. The less calories consumed and the greater the activity, the more protien you need.
For fat intake, fat is also just an energy source, the only fats required are essential fatty acids. You can get those by eating cold-water fish, or supplementing with 6-10 grams of fish oil per day. More essential fatty acids aren’t going to do anything anabolically to magically transform your body.
Setting up a Diet Based On Minimums
Say I weigh 200 lbs and I want to set up a diet. Based on the minimums I’d be consuming:
200 grams of protein (1 gram per pound of bodyweight for 800 calories)
100 grams of carbohydrate (100 grams to fuel the brain 400 calories)
6 grams of fish oil caps (60 calories).
That means my baseline diet would be 1260 calories. I would obviously never go under that. From that point I would add additional carbs and fats to get my energy status where I wanted it.

Total Calories
Total calories refers to how much energy you need to take in to meet your daily energy demands. Take in less calories (energy) then you need and your body will either:
A: Burn fat
B: Burn muscle
Take in more calories then you need and your body will either:
A: Store the excess as fat
B: Use the excess to promote muscle growth.
Partitioning
You create the “stimulus” for muscle growth through training. You provide the raw material (food), for the growth. Once you’ve done those 2 things the rest is up to your body. How many calories can you direct into the “muscular” compartment and how many calories are directed into your "fat’ compartment? We refer to that as nutrient partitioning.
Some people will gain 1 lb of fat for every pound of muscle they put on. Others will gain 3 lbs of fat per every 1 pound of muscle. Others will gain 4 lbs of muscle per every 1 pound of fat. The amount of muscle building in relation to fat building that goes on once you’ve provided excess raw materials is primarily determined by your genetics and how fast you attempt to gain weight (how much above maintenance you eat). If you don’t believe me about the gentics all you have to do is hang around a group of division I athletes for a while - see who has the best physiques then watch those people eat.

Genetics
Genetic expression is 1/2 DNA and 1/2 environment. It can be affected by many things including activity, psychology, nutrition, and drugs but for the most part genetics are genetics. Obviously, there are major differences between different individuals but the ability to cause physique alterations can even change in a given individual over time.
The main thing that changes genetic expression in a given individual more then anything else is not what type of diet they’re on, how they combine their meals, or what supplements they take, it is their activity and their age. Activity is obvious and 100% controllable but the only thing that can come close to over-riding the effect of aging is drugs. Go look at the diet and physique of a 70 + yr old bodybuilder like Jack Lalanne and compare it to the diet and physique of a 22 yr old Jack Lalanne. At 22 Jack Lalanne could probably gain 3 lbs of muscle per every 1 pound of fat. At 70+ he probably gains 4 lbs of fat per every 1 lb of muscle. He’s still Jack Lalanne, but the difference in response to his environment (training and nutrition) is night and day. Now, put Jack Lalanne on a cycle of testosterone and he could probably come fairly close to duplicating what he could do in his 30’s or 40’s.

What about fat loss?
Ok. Now, when it comes to losing weight, the example I gave above with the twins also holds true. Assuming one consumes the minimum levels of protein, the amount of fat vs muscle they lose is mainly determined by the caloric deficit and genetics, not nutrient timing or whether they consume eggs, chicken, low carb, high carb, or the $100 protein powder.
Therefore, if we again have two twins wanting to lose weight and they each weigh 150 lbs and require 3000 calories per day, - and we have one eat a 2500 calorie diet with 150 grams of protein and the rest made up of expensive supplements, specifically timed nutrients, and only “health” foods, while the other twin eats 2500 calories per day consisting of 150 grams of protein along with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and crackers, once again there will be very little difference in the effectiveness of either plan since the primary determining factors are the genetics and daily totals, which are the same.

Exceptions
Now, if we take a person who consumes only 30 grams of protein per day and the rest sugar and compare that to a person consuming 150 grams of protein per day and a wholesome diet, then yes, we will see some differences because one guy is only consuming 30 grams of protein thus the minimums aren’t being met.
If we take one person dieting on a 500 calorie deficit compared to another person dieting on a 1500 calorie deficit then yes, one will lose a lot more muscle then the other because one is trying to lose a pound per week while ther other is trying to lose about 5 lbs per week.
If we take one person trying to gain muscle on a 500 calorie excess while another person is trying to gain muscle on a 2000 calorie excess, obviously the 2nd person is likely going to gain a lot more fat in the process.
If person A does an Atkins diet while person B does a south beach diet while person C does a Pritikin diet they can all get the same results. The primary difference between them is that some diets make it easier to consume lower calories. A low carbohydrate diet, for example, tends to blunt appetite. A high carbohydrate diet tends to stimulate appetite for a lot of people.

The Real Anabolic Secret
Ok, now having said all that and getting back to your original question, if you’re gonna build muscle without getting fat you can either manipulate your endocrine signaling or you can manipulate your dietary totals.
The first consists of taking steroids. The primary benefit of steroids isn’t that they allow you to get big it’s that they improve nutrient partitioning and allow a person to get big without turning into a fat piece of crap in the process.
Anybody can get big. If you wanna get 250 lbs of muscle all you need to do is train a few times per week with basic movements and eat yourself up to about 400 lbs of scale weight. You’ll be fat as heck and look like crap but it’s not that hard. Hell, sumo wrestlers carry more muscle then either bodybuilders or powerlifters and they don’t even train much less take steroids.

Manipulating Diet
Other options including manipulating your dietary totals. This might consist of:

  1. Trying to gain weight very slowly.
    Your body can only build muscle so fast. The faster you try to gain the more fat you’re probably gonna gain. Eat maybe an extra 100 calories per day and you might gain a lb of muscle every couple of months. Honestly, most people who attempt to do this usually aren’t able to build any muscle at all.
  2. Take a 2 steps forward one step back approach
    With this approach you eat and train to gain weight and muscle for a certain number of days and then eat and train to lose fat for a certain number of days. The weight gain phase obviously consists of high calories and the low calorie phase consists of low calories. This is the approach I prefer and is the only way short of drugs once can compete with superior genetics and aging.
    The number of weight gain days and the number of weight loss days depends onyour metabolism and genetics. The basic tenet is that you put on muscle and accept some fat gain for a certain period of time and then you take off the fat that you gained. At the end of each phase you should be a bit heavier and just as lean.
    Some people do well with a 5 day high calorie phase and a 2 day low calorie phase. Others do well with a 7 day high calorie phase and a 2 day low calorie phase. Others do well with a 13 day high calorie phase a 3 day low calorie phase. Others do well with a 2-3 week high calories phase and a 1-2 weeks low calorie phase. How you set it up doesn’t really matter.
    Here’s an example of a 14 day 11 days high/3 days low split:
    Mon- full body workout - high calories (maintenance + 500)
    Wed- lower body workout - high calories
    Fri- upper body workout- high calories
    Mon - upper body workout- high calories
    Wed - lower body workout - high calories
    Fri- low calories + light full body workout
    Sat- low calories (maintenance minus 500) interval sprints/cardio
    Sun- low calories/ treadmill walking
    Mon- Start over with day one
    Hopefully that gives you some ideas.
    I will add that my personal perference is a low to medium carb intake along with a relatively high fat intake mainly because I don’t want to rely on only lean protein sources to get my protein intake. The lower carb intake also lets you ‘appear leaner’ even when bulking up because of reduced water retention. I think I’ve only measured my sodium intake for one period in my life… so IMO your water and carb consumption is more of a determining factor for water retention than sodium is.
    So I am now a proponent of the idea that at least in terms of partitioning or improving body composition only, health isssues aside, eating clean is not a necessity. Of course I still recognize the fact that the health factor shouldn’t really ever be totally separated or ignored. But in the short run…if your in your target caloric range, if certain macros are met (protein and EFA requirements)… then enjoy that burger while dieting.

[quote]BrickHead wrote:
From Timberwolf’s Myspace page post years ago:
Kelly Bagget summed it up well here…:
Unless you just have really good genetics or take steroids the only real way to accomplish what you want is to take a 2 steps forward one step back approach. Building a significant amount of muscle without adding some fat is about impossible for most people.
Contrary to popular belief, providing your basic protein requirements are met and you’re training, the “composition”, “timing”, and “frequency” of your diet are not as important as many think and are not as important as your total caloric intake. Let’s run through a few myths right quick.

  • Eating once a day is worse then eating 6 times a day but there’s little if any difference between eating 3 times a day and 6 times a day.
    -Whole food meals restore muscle glycogen just as well as postworkout carb drinks. If you have days between intense workouts for a certain bodypart it’s not like your body needs to be in a hurry up mode to restore a couple of hundred calories worth of glycogen (energy) you burn up in a workout.
  • The only major benefit of food combining is appetite control. How you combine your meals is of little relevance at the end of the day.
  • Protein is protein. The majority of differences in quality (and price) can be made up for by quantity. Give me the guy getting his protein from steak and eggs everyday compared to the guy spending $1500 per month on fancy micro-ozone-filtered powders and I’ll take the first guy every time.
  • Carbs and fats are both sources of energy. Excess energy above and beyond your daily energy needs from either source leads to fat gain. Lack of energy from either source below your daily energy needs leads to fat loss. Whether you eat more calories from fat or more calories from carbohydrate, or less energy from fat or less energy from carbohydrate, energy is energy.
  • The most important factor as to whether you gain or lose weight is your daily caloric intake.
  • The amount of fat you gain on a bulking diet is primarily determined by your total caloric intake and your genetics.
  • The amount of muscle you lose on a fat loss diet is primarily determined by the extent of your caloric deficit and your genetics.
  • The body does not suddenly go “catabolic” when no protein is consumed over a few hour time span.

How Important is the Complicated Stuff?
For the most part, whatever complicated nutrition scheme you’re on is not all that relevant as to what your body does with excess calories in regard to muscle gain as long as you’re eating enough protein. Activity itself along with the total calories that you eat and the endocrine signals your body sends (genetics) are much more important. In order of importance the major factors would be:

  1. Endocrine signaling (genetics, hormones, etc.)
  2. Dietary totals
  3. activity
  4. Dietary composition
  5. Meal timing.
    A Scenario
    If we take 2 twins and they both train the same and eat 150 grams of protein and 3000 calories per day but one eats 6 meals per day and 500 grams of carbs consisting of potatoes and brown rice etc., while the other eats 3 meals per day and 500 grams of carbs consisting of cereal and bread, most would be very surprised of how little difference there would be as far as the amount of muscle and fat they gained.
    The main difference between a diet consisting of whole foods and a diet consisting of processed crap is, it’s a lot easier to consume more calories on the processed diet and, since excess calories are what make people fat, it’s a lot easier to consume more calories and get fat on a junk food diet. Additionally, many people eating the processed diet are not getting the right amount of protien.

Minimums
What are the minimums? Well, there is no minimum level of carbohydrate, - Carbs are just energy. If you wanted to get nitpicky you could say that 100 grams of carbohydrate would be required per day to maintain enough blood glucose to think straight, but that’s not necessarily essential.
For protein the minimum generally runs anywhere from 1 gram per lb of bodyweight to 1.5 grams per lb of bodyweight, depending on the total caloric intake and activity. The less calories consumed and the greater the activity, the more protien you need.
For fat intake, fat is also just an energy source, the only fats required are essential fatty acids. You can get those by eating cold-water fish, or supplementing with 6-10 grams of fish oil per day. More essential fatty acids aren’t going to do anything anabolically to magically transform your body.
Setting up a Diet Based On Minimums
Say I weigh 200 lbs and I want to set up a diet. Based on the minimums I’d be consuming:
200 grams of protein (1 gram per pound of bodyweight for 800 calories)
100 grams of carbohydrate (100 grams to fuel the brain 400 calories)
6 grams of fish oil caps (60 calories).
That means my baseline diet would be 1260 calories. I would obviously never go under that. From that point I would add additional carbs and fats to get my energy status where I wanted it.

Total Calories
Total calories refers to how much energy you need to take in to meet your daily energy demands. Take in less calories (energy) then you need and your body will either:
A: Burn fat
B: Burn muscle
Take in more calories then you need and your body will either:
A: Store the excess as fat
B: Use the excess to promote muscle growth.
Partitioning
You create the “stimulus” for muscle growth through training. You provide the raw material (food), for the growth. Once you’ve done those 2 things the rest is up to your body. How many calories can you direct into the “muscular” compartment and how many calories are directed into your "fat’ compartment? We refer to that as nutrient partitioning.
Some people will gain 1 lb of fat for every pound of muscle they put on. Others will gain 3 lbs of fat per every 1 pound of muscle. Others will gain 4 lbs of muscle per every 1 pound of fat. The amount of muscle building in relation to fat building that goes on once you’ve provided excess raw materials is primarily determined by your genetics and how fast you attempt to gain weight (how much above maintenance you eat). If you don’t believe me about the gentics all you have to do is hang around a group of division I athletes for a while - see who has the best physiques then watch those people eat.

Genetics
Genetic expression is 1/2 DNA and 1/2 environment. It can be affected by many things including activity, psychology, nutrition, and drugs but for the most part genetics are genetics. Obviously, there are major differences between different individuals but the ability to cause physique alterations can even change in a given individual over time.
The main thing that changes genetic expression in a given individual more then anything else is not what type of diet they’re on, how they combine their meals, or what supplements they take, it is their activity and their age. Activity is obvious and 100% controllable but the only thing that can come close to over-riding the effect of aging is drugs. Go look at the diet and physique of a 70 + yr old bodybuilder like Jack Lalanne and compare it to the diet and physique of a 22 yr old Jack Lalanne. At 22 Jack Lalanne could probably gain 3 lbs of muscle per every 1 pound of fat. At 70+ he probably gains 4 lbs of fat per every 1 lb of muscle. He’s still Jack Lalanne, but the difference in response to his environment (training and nutrition) is night and day. Now, put Jack Lalanne on a cycle of testosterone and he could probably come fairly close to duplicating what he could do in his 30’s or 40’s.

What about fat loss?
Ok. Now, when it comes to losing weight, the example I gave above with the twins also holds true. Assuming one consumes the minimum levels of protein, the amount of fat vs muscle they lose is mainly determined by the caloric deficit and genetics, not nutrient timing or whether they consume eggs, chicken, low carb, high carb, or the $100 protein powder.
Therefore, if we again have two twins wanting to lose weight and they each weigh 150 lbs and require 3000 calories per day, - and we have one eat a 2500 calorie diet with 150 grams of protein and the rest made up of expensive supplements, specifically timed nutrients, and only “health” foods, while the other twin eats 2500 calories per day consisting of 150 grams of protein along with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and crackers, once again there will be very little difference in the effectiveness of either plan since the primary determining factors are the genetics and daily totals, which are the same.

Exceptions
Now, if we take a person who consumes only 30 grams of protein per day and the rest sugar and compare that to a person consuming 150 grams of protein per day and a wholesome diet, then yes, we will see some differences because one guy is only consuming 30 grams of protein thus the minimums aren’t being met.
If we take one person dieting on a 500 calorie deficit compared to another person dieting on a 1500 calorie deficit then yes, one will lose a lot more muscle then the other because one is trying to lose a pound per week while ther other is trying to lose about 5 lbs per week.
If we take one person trying to gain muscle on a 500 calorie excess while another person is trying to gain muscle on a 2000 calorie excess, obviously the 2nd person is likely going to gain a lot more fat in the process.
If person A does an Atkins diet while person B does a south beach diet while person C does a Pritikin diet they can all get the same results. The primary difference between them is that some diets make it easier to consume lower calories. A low carbohydrate diet, for example, tends to blunt appetite. A high carbohydrate diet tends to stimulate appetite for a lot of people.

The Real Anabolic Secret
Ok, now having said all that and getting back to your original question, if you’re gonna build muscle without getting fat you can either manipulate your endocrine signaling or you can manipulate your dietary totals.
The first consists of taking steroids. The primary benefit of steroids isn’t that they allow you to get big it’s that they improve nutrient partitioning and allow a person to get big without turning into a fat piece of crap in the process.
Anybody can get big. If you wanna get 250 lbs of muscle all you need to do is train a few times per week with basic movements and eat yourself up to about 400 lbs of scale weight. You’ll be fat as heck and look like crap but it’s not that hard. Hell, sumo wrestlers carry more muscle then either bodybuilders or powerlifters and they don’t even train much less take steroids.

Manipulating Diet
Other options including manipulating your dietary totals. This might consist of:

  1. Trying to gain weight very slowly.
    Your body can only build muscle so fast. The faster you try to gain the more fat you’re probably gonna gain. Eat maybe an extra 100 calories per day and you might gain a lb of muscle every couple of months. Honestly, most people who attempt to do this usually aren’t able to build any muscle at all.
  2. Take a 2 steps forward one step back approach
    With this approach you eat and train to gain weight and muscle for a certain number of days and then eat and train to lose fat for a certain number of days. The weight gain phase obviously consists of high calories and the low calorie phase consists of low calories. This is the approach I prefer and is the only way short of drugs once can compete with superior genetics and aging.
    The number of weight gain days and the number of weight loss days depends onyour metabolism and genetics. The basic tenet is that you put on muscle and accept some fat gain for a certain period of time and then you take off the fat that you gained. At the end of each phase you should be a bit heavier and just as lean.
    Some people do well with a 5 day high calorie phase and a 2 day low calorie phase. Others do well with a 7 day high calorie phase and a 2 day low calorie phase. Others do well with a 13 day high calorie phase a 3 day low calorie phase. Others do well with a 2-3 week high calories phase and a 1-2 weeks low calorie phase. How you set it up doesn’t really matter.
    Here’s an example of a 14 day 11 days high/3 days low split:
    Mon- full body workout - high calories (maintenance + 500)
    Wed- lower body workout - high calories
    Fri- upper body workout- high calories
    Mon - upper body workout- high calories
    Wed - lower body workout - high calories
    Fri- low calories + light full body workout
    Sat- low calories (maintenance minus 500) interval sprints/cardio
    Sun- low calories/ treadmill walking
    Mon- Start over with day one
    Hopefully that gives you some ideas.
    I will add that my personal perference is a low to medium carb intake along with a relatively high fat intake mainly because I don’t want to rely on only lean protein sources to get my protein intake. The lower carb intake also lets you ‘appear leaner’ even when bulking up because of reduced water retention. I think I’ve only measured my sodium intake for one period in my life… so IMO your water and carb consumption is more of a determining factor for water retention than sodium is.
    So I am now a proponent of the idea that at least in terms of partitioning or improving body composition only, health isssues aside, eating clean is not a necessity. Of course I still recognize the fact that the health factor shouldn’t really ever be totally separated or ignored. But in the short run…if your in your target caloric range, if certain macros are met (protein and EFA requirements)… then enjoy that burger while dieting.

[/quote]

Big fan of this way of thinking.

Life is too busy and far too short to spend nearly every waking moment preoccupied with macros, micros, perfect nutrient timing, prepping meals at 1 am for the following day, etc.

Wish I would have come to that realization much earlier.

that post was perfect, do you know what he says regarding training?

[quote]myself1992 wrote:
that post was perfect, do you know what he says regarding training? [/quote]

Nope, not aside from what’s posted right there with the calorie cycling. It’s easy to make up general full body and half body sessions.

I’m by no means exceptionally big lean or aesthetic but this is what I’ve done the last few years and have seen the best progress of my life by just training hard and not worrying as much about meal timing or eating super clean. I have a set calorie number ex. 4000 and a protein number ex. 300+ and as long as I hit that it doesn’t really matter, I’ve noticed no negative body comp changes either.

[quote]BrickHead wrote:
From Timberwolf’s Myspace page post years ago:
Kelly Bagget summed it up well here…:
Unless you just have really good genetics or take steroids the only real way to accomplish what you want is to take a 2 steps forward one step back approach. Building a significant amount of muscle without adding some fat is about impossible for most people.
Contrary to popular belief, providing your basic protein requirements are met and you’re training, the “composition”, “timing”, and “frequency” of your diet are not as important as many think and are not as important as your total caloric intake. Let’s run through a few myths right quick.

  • Eating once a day is worse then eating 6 times a day but there’s little if any difference between eating 3 times a day and 6 times a day.
    -Whole food meals restore muscle glycogen just as well as postworkout carb drinks. If you have days between intense workouts for a certain bodypart it’s not like your body needs to be in a hurry up mode to restore a couple of hundred calories worth of glycogen (energy) you burn up in a workout.
  • The only major benefit of food combining is appetite control. How you combine your meals is of little relevance at the end of the day.
  • Protein is protein. The majority of differences in quality (and price) can be made up for by quantity. Give me the guy getting his protein from steak and eggs everyday compared to the guy spending $1500 per month on fancy micro-ozone-filtered powders and I’ll take the first guy every time.
  • Carbs and fats are both sources of energy. Excess energy above and beyond your daily energy needs from either source leads to fat gain. Lack of energy from either source below your daily energy needs leads to fat loss. Whether you eat more calories from fat or more calories from carbohydrate, or less energy from fat or less energy from carbohydrate, energy is energy.
  • The most important factor as to whether you gain or lose weight is your daily caloric intake.
  • The amount of fat you gain on a bulking diet is primarily determined by your total caloric intake and your genetics.
  • The amount of muscle you lose on a fat loss diet is primarily determined by the extent of your caloric deficit and your genetics.
  • The body does not suddenly go “catabolic” when no protein is consumed over a few hour time span.

How Important is the Complicated Stuff?
For the most part, whatever complicated nutrition scheme you’re on is not all that relevant as to what your body does with excess calories in regard to muscle gain as long as you’re eating enough protein. Activity itself along with the total calories that you eat and the endocrine signals your body sends (genetics) are much more important. In order of importance the major factors would be:

  1. Endocrine signaling (genetics, hormones, etc.)
  2. Dietary totals
  3. activity
  4. Dietary composition
  5. Meal timing.
    A Scenario
    If we take 2 twins and they both train the same and eat 150 grams of protein and 3000 calories per day but one eats 6 meals per day and 500 grams of carbs consisting of potatoes and brown rice etc., while the other eats 3 meals per day and 500 grams of carbs consisting of cereal and bread, most would be very surprised of how little difference there would be as far as the amount of muscle and fat they gained.
    The main difference between a diet consisting of whole foods and a diet consisting of processed crap is, it’s a lot easier to consume more calories on the processed diet and, since excess calories are what make people fat, it’s a lot easier to consume more calories and get fat on a junk food diet. Additionally, many people eating the processed diet are not getting the right amount of protien.

Minimums
What are the minimums? Well, there is no minimum level of carbohydrate, - Carbs are just energy. If you wanted to get nitpicky you could say that 100 grams of carbohydrate would be required per day to maintain enough blood glucose to think straight, but that’s not necessarily essential.
For protein the minimum generally runs anywhere from 1 gram per lb of bodyweight to 1.5 grams per lb of bodyweight, depending on the total caloric intake and activity. The less calories consumed and the greater the activity, the more protien you need.
For fat intake, fat is also just an energy source, the only fats required are essential fatty acids. You can get those by eating cold-water fish, or supplementing with 6-10 grams of fish oil per day. More essential fatty acids aren’t going to do anything anabolically to magically transform your body.
Setting up a Diet Based On Minimums
Say I weigh 200 lbs and I want to set up a diet. Based on the minimums I’d be consuming:
200 grams of protein (1 gram per pound of bodyweight for 800 calories)
100 grams of carbohydrate (100 grams to fuel the brain 400 calories)
6 grams of fish oil caps (60 calories).
That means my baseline diet would be 1260 calories. I would obviously never go under that. From that point I would add additional carbs and fats to get my energy status where I wanted it.

Total Calories
Total calories refers to how much energy you need to take in to meet your daily energy demands. Take in less calories (energy) then you need and your body will either:
A: Burn fat
B: Burn muscle
Take in more calories then you need and your body will either:
A: Store the excess as fat
B: Use the excess to promote muscle growth.
Partitioning
You create the “stimulus” for muscle growth through training. You provide the raw material (food), for the growth. Once you’ve done those 2 things the rest is up to your body. How many calories can you direct into the “muscular” compartment and how many calories are directed into your "fat’ compartment? We refer to that as nutrient partitioning.
Some people will gain 1 lb of fat for every pound of muscle they put on. Others will gain 3 lbs of fat per every 1 pound of muscle. Others will gain 4 lbs of muscle per every 1 pound of fat. The amount of muscle building in relation to fat building that goes on once you’ve provided excess raw materials is primarily determined by your genetics and how fast you attempt to gain weight (how much above maintenance you eat). If you don’t believe me about the gentics all you have to do is hang around a group of division I athletes for a while - see who has the best physiques then watch those people eat.

Genetics
Genetic expression is 1/2 DNA and 1/2 environment. It can be affected by many things including activity, psychology, nutrition, and drugs but for the most part genetics are genetics. Obviously, there are major differences between different individuals but the ability to cause physique alterations can even change in a given individual over time.
The main thing that changes genetic expression in a given individual more then anything else is not what type of diet they’re on, how they combine their meals, or what supplements they take, it is their activity and their age. Activity is obvious and 100% controllable but the only thing that can come close to over-riding the effect of aging is drugs. Go look at the diet and physique of a 70 + yr old bodybuilder like Jack Lalanne and compare it to the diet and physique of a 22 yr old Jack Lalanne. At 22 Jack Lalanne could probably gain 3 lbs of muscle per every 1 pound of fat. At 70+ he probably gains 4 lbs of fat per every 1 lb of muscle. He’s still Jack Lalanne, but the difference in response to his environment (training and nutrition) is night and day. Now, put Jack Lalanne on a cycle of testosterone and he could probably come fairly close to duplicating what he could do in his 30’s or 40’s.

What about fat loss?
Ok. Now, when it comes to losing weight, the example I gave above with the twins also holds true. Assuming one consumes the minimum levels of protein, the amount of fat vs muscle they lose is mainly determined by the caloric deficit and genetics, not nutrient timing or whether they consume eggs, chicken, low carb, high carb, or the $100 protein powder.
Therefore, if we again have two twins wanting to lose weight and they each weigh 150 lbs and require 3000 calories per day, - and we have one eat a 2500 calorie diet with 150 grams of protein and the rest made up of expensive supplements, specifically timed nutrients, and only “health” foods, while the other twin eats 2500 calories per day consisting of 150 grams of protein along with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and crackers, once again there will be very little difference in the effectiveness of either plan since the primary determining factors are the genetics and daily totals, which are the same.

Exceptions
Now, if we take a person who consumes only 30 grams of protein per day and the rest sugar and compare that to a person consuming 150 grams of protein per day and a wholesome diet, then yes, we will see some differences because one guy is only consuming 30 grams of protein thus the minimums aren’t being met.
If we take one person dieting on a 500 calorie deficit compared to another person dieting on a 1500 calorie deficit then yes, one will lose a lot more muscle then the other because one is trying to lose a pound per week while ther other is trying to lose about 5 lbs per week.
If we take one person trying to gain muscle on a 500 calorie excess while another person is trying to gain muscle on a 2000 calorie excess, obviously the 2nd person is likely going to gain a lot more fat in the process.
If person A does an Atkins diet while person B does a south beach diet while person C does a Pritikin diet they can all get the same results. The primary difference between them is that some diets make it easier to consume lower calories. A low carbohydrate diet, for example, tends to blunt appetite. A high carbohydrate diet tends to stimulate appetite for a lot of people.

The Real Anabolic Secret
Ok, now having said all that and getting back to your original question, if you’re gonna build muscle without getting fat you can either manipulate your endocrine signaling or you can manipulate your dietary totals.
The first consists of taking steroids. The primary benefit of steroids isn’t that they allow you to get big it’s that they improve nutrient partitioning and allow a person to get big without turning into a fat piece of crap in the process.
Anybody can get big. If you wanna get 250 lbs of muscle all you need to do is train a few times per week with basic movements and eat yourself up to about 400 lbs of scale weight. You’ll be fat as heck and look like crap but it’s not that hard. Hell, sumo wrestlers carry more muscle then either bodybuilders or powerlifters and they don’t even train much less take steroids.

Manipulating Diet
Other options including manipulating your dietary totals. This might consist of:

  1. Trying to gain weight very slowly.
    Your body can only build muscle so fast. The faster you try to gain the more fat you’re probably gonna gain. Eat maybe an extra 100 calories per day and you might gain a lb of muscle every couple of months. Honestly, most people who attempt to do this usually aren’t able to build any muscle at all.
  2. Take a 2 steps forward one step back approach
    With this approach you eat and train to gain weight and muscle for a certain number of days and then eat and train to lose fat for a certain number of days. The weight gain phase obviously consists of high calories and the low calorie phase consists of low calories. This is the approach I prefer and is the only way short of drugs once can compete with superior genetics and aging.
    The number of weight gain days and the number of weight loss days depends onyour metabolism and genetics. The basic tenet is that you put on muscle and accept some fat gain for a certain period of time and then you take off the fat that you gained. At the end of each phase you should be a bit heavier and just as lean.
    Some people do well with a 5 day high calorie phase and a 2 day low calorie phase. Others do well with a 7 day high calorie phase and a 2 day low calorie phase. Others do well with a 13 day high calorie phase a 3 day low calorie phase. Others do well with a 2-3 week high calories phase and a 1-2 weeks low calorie phase. How you set it up doesn’t really matter.
    Here’s an example of a 14 day 11 days high/3 days low split:
    Mon- full body workout - high calories (maintenance + 500)
    Wed- lower body workout - high calories
    Fri- upper body workout- high calories
    Mon - upper body workout- high calories
    Wed - lower body workout - high calories
    Fri- low calories + light full body workout
    Sat- low calories (maintenance minus 500) interval sprints/cardio
    Sun- low calories/ treadmill walking
    Mon- Start over with day one
    Hopefully that gives you some ideas.
    I will add that my personal perference is a low to medium carb intake along with a relatively high fat intake mainly because I don’t want to rely on only lean protein sources to get my protein intake. The lower carb intake also lets you ‘appear leaner’ even when bulking up because of reduced water retention. I think I’ve only measured my sodium intake for one period in my life… so IMO your water and carb consumption is more of a determining factor for water retention than sodium is.
    So I am now a proponent of the idea that at least in terms of partitioning or improving body composition only, health isssues aside, eating clean is not a necessity. Of course I still recognize the fact that the health factor shouldn’t really ever be totally separated or ignored. But in the short run…if your in your target caloric range, if certain macros are met (protein and EFA requirements)… then enjoy that burger while dieting.

[/quote]

Thanks for posting this Brick. If i look back at my lifting timeline, my best appearance and performance balanced physiques were always during a consitent time of beeing fairly active, lifting consistantly chasing performance, and getting in my protein/efa’s and just keeping the rest adjusted to performance and energy levels.

We tend to get lost in alot of the ‘new’ and ‘best’ way to get from point A to point B but we tend to forget the only way to get from A to B is consistency, everything else is secondary.

Used to have a buddy who was competive in BB back in college, would always tell me succes = consistancy x time.